I was awakened by the sound of Matachines drumming away. Despite the chill and dampness of the earth, the faithful were up to celebrate and honor the Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgin of Guadalupe). Every December 12th finds my mother at mass by 4:30am. It’s her favorite religious observation day and she is not the only one. It is for many in the Americas. The Virgin Mary can have a cult-like following much to the consternation of the Roman Catholic Church and which is not condoned (From All About Religion website).
If the admiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes anything more than using her as a model of faith in God the Father, Roman Catholics delve into dangerous theological territory. The tendency to elevate her to a position of divine status is alarming. Mary can be a model (like Paul or Peter) for our faith, but she is not divine nor is she able to provide for our salvation. Jesus Christ alone is God and is the only person capable of enabling the salvation of all mankind. The Word of God is explicit on this subject.
To the Mexican populations she is a symbol of unity between the new and the old traditions. A melding of the ancient goddess Tonantzin with a catholic symbol of the new culture born in Mexico.
NPR had a pretty neat explanation of what December 12th and the history behind the apparition of the Virgen de Guadalupe is about. Check it out:
While I may not be a follower, I understand the importance of the symbolism for some in the Americas. A fellow blogger out of New York has a great website and we have talked about collaborating on a similar site for Texas. Check it out, what do you think? We could start it off with this handmade beauty from the El Tonto (aka, San Francisco Javier area) neighborhood. I thought it was pretty cool.